暗戀桃花源
Problematizing Dreams
in Peach Blossom Land and around it
Outline

Starting Questions



1.
2.
3.
Context I: Taiwanese theatre; From Theatre to Film
Context II: cross-strait relationship
More Questions; Three Approaches
A Formalist Reading: Different Pursuers after
Different Dreams
An Meta-Theatrical/Filmic Reading
National Allegory? –the Extra-Theatrical
Starting Questions



What do you think the film is about? How do
you set its historical contexts?
Please compare and contrast the two theatre
groups and their plays.
What roles do the directors, one assistant, the
janitor and two strange women (one looking
for 劉子驥 ) play?
Peach Blossom Land: 2 Contexts







background:
1985 -- 春天【表演工作坊】推出《那一夜,我們說相
聲》,演出意外的受到歡迎,這對一個新生的劇團而言,
無疑是一劑強心針。演出結束大夥已在計畫下一齣戲。
當時的台灣尚末解除戒嚴,兩岸亦未往返,但社會上卻
已隱藏一股山雨欲來的氣氛,這股暗流為當時我們這群
嘗試以劇場為表現形式的人提供了絕佳的靈感。(丁乃竺
source)
1986 -- 《暗戀桃花源》
1987 -- 解嚴、宣佈開放大陸探親政策
2004 –
1991 – 《暗戀桃花源》舞台劇重演
--那一夜women 說相聲;
--「我們兩家都是人」
1992 -- 《暗戀桃花源》龍祥/台灣
1994 -- 《飛俠阿達》
Peach Blossom Land: Context (1)

《暗戀桃花源》--陳玉慧導演的《謝微
笑》--在藝術館彩排的經驗
Context (1)
Improvisational Theatre (or Improv.)



Improvisational performance
Improvisational training
Group Improvisational writing (or performance text)
Tsai 19
Context (1)
Improvisational Theatre (or Improv.) 2

Ref. Why is Improvisation important for an
actor in theatre?



1. The actor is not driven by the script but by
imagination and expressiveness in creating
characters
2. Improvisational skills are a resource for the
actor
3. Without skills in improvisation the actor is in
danger of inflexibility and narrowness. (source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Improvisation )
Peach Blossom Land
Improvisational Theatre


“Improvisation in its simplest form is
spontaneously living the moment.” (Lai qtd Tsai
68) )
開放式即興;規劃式即興
文本
﹙Tsai 83﹚
Peach Blossom Land
Improvisational Theatre (2)



e.g. 1 賴聲川-- 提出他希望以兩個劇團
爭奪一個舞台為出發
大夥討論:一個以演悲劇《暗戀》為主的
三流劇團,與一個以演三流喜劇《桃花源》
為主的江湖劇團於焉誕生。
e.g. 2 你們三個人喝酒﹐讓老陶喝不到。
Context (1)
Improvisational Theatre (2)


e.g. 3 賴聲川-- 要雲之凡向江濱柳起身告辭,
同時要江濱柳叫住雲,問這些年可曾想過他。
而照此指示即興 「到這一剎那,金士傑和我
都突然進入一種無法言喻的情緒,突然間我們似
乎觸碰到一個核心,一個龐大的東西,我突然對
我們上一代的流離失所和許多的無奈,生出一股
強烈的同情心,眼淚不由自主的流下,而金士傑
和我即興完這一段戲時,整個客廳都很安
靜 . . . . . . 」(source)
Context (1)
From Theatre to Film


Production Company 龍祥--原以賣港片為主﹐
以此片為拓展市場之途徑。
Characters 角色 --必須擺脫原角色的影響。(以
江太太為例);
Cinematography of 杜篤之 --
(1) Found shooting the whole stage to be a mistake.
(2) exposure of backstage and moving curtains up and
down e.g. *尋找順子segment (theatre space  film
space)

Context (1)
Theatre to Film (2)

Cinematography 杜篤之 --filmic
representation of theatre spaces
(3) Time/Space Travel –
 *“return to the past”: Theatre backdrop  film’s
 去桃花源 showing moving backdrops
Context (2)
Cross-Strait Relations?

賴:「大陸開放探親之後﹐《暗》劇反而
更無罣礙地在主題上走得更深。一方面往
個人心靈世界發展﹐一方面走向更宏大得
視野、更永恆而共通得生命意義。首演版
本得通俗劇模式靠著真實事件得情感而成
功的運轉﹐如今這通俗劇結合了更大的架
構﹐輻射的命題更大﹐不再局限於兩岸的
關係。……你可以說武陵是大陸﹐桃花源
是台灣﹐也可以說完全相反」(in 鴻鴻31)
Context (2)
Order in Disorder

《暗戀桃花園》的成功,在於它滿足了臺
灣人民潛意識的某種願望,臺灣實在太亂
了,這齣戲便是在渾亂與干擾當中
,鑽出一個秩序來,讓完全不搭調的東西
放在一起,看久了,也就搭調了。(in 鴻鴻)
More Questions


How do we contextualize the film, then? …
「- 伯伯﹐你不是回大陸去了嗎?」
Peach Blossom Land
Three Approaches
1.
2.
3.
Formalist Approach (compare/contrast) :
Different Pursuits of Ideals (in a Theatre as
Life)
Context (1): Meta-theatre-film (multiple
theatrical context) -- Time Travel Film
problematized
Context (2): from Mess to Order –Nostalgic
or a-political?
Peach Blossom Land
The two plays in contrast
Style
Theme
Recurrent Motif
暗 tragic;
Ideal and Love Broken; China Taiwan
戀 Romantic Political unrest; Marriage Disorder - Reunion before Death migration --order
桃
花
源
Discontent
Discontent
comic;
Poverty, Sexual
crude and Impotence and Adultery;
Ideal land //祖先
exaggerat Escape  Return
Vs.
ed
Marriage/Reality
-- Means interruptions
Peach Blossom Land
The two plays in contrast: Plot
Thesis
暗 上海公園
戀
桃 武陵
花 (impotence
源 // extramarital
affair) 桃
Anti-thesis
Confusio
n
(lack of)
Solution
Constrained in 台北
病房
Missing 雲 seeing
her
(problem in acting)
桃花源
From frustration and
anger to release in
childish games.
等
她
來
Family tolerance
回
去
Meeting
Life to death;
Life or death;
go together;
Family
arguments
From Contrast to Mixing and Similarities
Peach Blossom Land
桃花源 (1): Personal Escape
A. Personal Level:

Basic survival: 窮山餓水,潑婦刁民, 釣魚魚都串連好
了不一塊兒上網;

Comic Effects –
1. Symbols and Innuendos: Fish;
「小魚乾」 「那個什麼」
2. Actions: the comforter scene,
drinking scene;

Rejection & Repetition:
1. Nobody can compare with him at 武陵。
2. Ideal land -- 春花﹦白衣女子;袁老闆﹦白衣男子  no
escape from the bad memories?
Peach Blossom Land
桃花源 (2): “No Solution”
1. 「每個人都很祥和﹐平靜﹐每個人都為別人
著想﹐每個景象都是美麗的圖畫﹐每個聲音
都像是遙遠地方傳來美麗動聽的樂音」
Childish and non-sexual game;
2. Peaceful togetherness:
e.g. apple-eating;
3. Perspectivism.觀看角度
4. Even more impossible desire
to take 春花 and 袁老闆 there.
5. The last scene – stopped by the other group and
the janitor
Peach Blossom Land
暗戀 (1): Unrealistic Pursuit
1.
2.
Romantic: The Song 〈追尋〉--「你是晴空的流
雲 你是子夜的流星」;芳香;時間靜止;
江’s impractical pursuit - Belief in their meeting each other some place.
 The nurse: 保持現狀﹙雲小姐來你反而會更難
過﹚(e.g. clip 2)
 Nurse: 「江先生人真的很好」 ;雲:「我先
生人真的很好。」﹚(clip 3)
 Mrs. 江:serving her husband without
understanding him; tries to comfort him at the
end.
Peach Blossom Land
暗戀 (2): a Historical Tragedy
3. The ironies of fate: Repetitions 
ironies
 信。-- many letters; all
missed.
 昆明(碰不到面)、上海(碰
面)、台北(這麼小﹐反而
碰不到面)
4. 江’s persistence -
The nurse: cannot remember
what her lover looks like
after two weeks.
 The envelope—intended for
his wife
 Missing home – 東北
Peach Blossom Land II
Meta-Theatre/Film: a Postmodern Collage

The two plays intersect with
each other, with each
segment (or the interruption
in between) undermining the
previous segment.

Theme: Time/Space Travel
and Nostalgia problematized
Peach Blossom Land II
Time/Space Travel & Nostalgia problematized

The two plays


juxtaposed; Mutual criticism;
Interrupting each other at their ‘climax’ or
emotional moments; e.g. 「你一定要忘記﹐戰爭﹐死亡﹐
你一定要忘記才能重新開始…」
Confused with each other.
e.g. 1 -- 老陶’s return
e.g. 2 – two plays using the same stage.

Intersections of the Two Plays
唉 來多久
了
等她
嗐 五天了
好久了
她不一定想來
她會來她可能把你
給忘了…
她不會來


不會
對不起我不 你可能會更難
是那個意
過
思…
Confusion: 你抓不到;你回去
Borrowing the pillow of one group to use as a
child.
回去
Peach Blossom Land II -B
The Other Meta-Theatrical Aspect
暗 Setting; 上海病房 台北病房+上海公園;
Acting 改為台北
戀
Acting (the director’s
projection)
桃 Stage
花 Prop
源
Missing one 桃樹逃出來;
screen
change the script (幹嘛「若
(尋找順子) 有光」?)
The Other MetaTheatrical Aspect

桃花源 e.g.
The Other
Meta-Theatrical Aspect

暗戀 e.g.
Confusion of Roles


Roles = Actor/Actress「謝謝你啊…江太太」「我
不是蔡老闆…」
The Director “Realism” + Subjective Projection




「小手的一握﹐是最甜蜜也最辛酸的時候……一個巨
大的變化即將來臨」
「黃埔江﹐我看你們看的是淡水河。」
「你現在不好好演﹐到下面一場系﹐等你老了躺在病
床上﹐你就沒有回憶了。」
白色的山茶花 你們是演不出來的…
Peach Blossom Land II –C
Meta Aspects: Theatrical Frames
Beginning and Ending:
Actors and Actresses coming and leaving.
 beginning – Ending

-- Who gets to determine our directions in life?
-- Life as fictions, but we are not necessarily its writers.
-- No easy transition from one historical period to another.
Peach Blossom Land II –C
Meta Aspects: Theatrical Frames



2) Marginalized
Characters:
1) Characters waiting
for their time to act
2) The Assistant
Peach Blossom Land II –C
Meta Aspects: Theatrical Frames




2) Marginalized
Characters:
3) Two strange women
One looking for 劉子
驥
The other reading
newspaper and waiting
The clock
Peach Blossom Land III –I
Meta Aspects: Extra-Theatrical Frames
from Mess to Order  in Apparent Disorder 
situated in Social Discourses (as another kind of Order)
Tsai 75
Peach Blossom Land III –I
Meta Aspects: Extra-Theatrical Frames

One Possibility: A New Historicist Reading of the
Film in the Context of the Previous Theatrical
Productions

 How “Dreams” are all historically produced (e.g. using
different theatrical languages) and later commodified (turned
into commercials—craze for 上海﹐李立群’s CF).

“. . . The work of art is the product of a negotiation
between a creator or class or creators, equipped with
a complex, communally shared repertoire of
conventions, and the institutions and practices of
society” (Greenblatt 1989: 12)
Peach Blossom Land III-II
Political Reading

After all, the film can still be read as an
allegory of Taiwan’s national identity in crossstrait relations.

Is nostalgia really problematized?
Peach Blossom Land III-II
Cultural Encounters
Encounter of two cultures – each with no
knowledge of the other;

老陶:你們都沒人出去過?
白袍女子:去哪啊!
老陶:武陵。
白袍女子:武陵到底是什麼地方?
老陶:武陵-武陵-武陵-武陵-武陵!
2. Views of 祖先:

袁-「我們的綿延不絕的子孫……左手拿著葡
萄﹐右手捧著美酒;嘴裡含著鳳梨…」; 豬公;
白衣 -「祖先不重要了﹐我們實現理想。」
1.
Peach Blossom Land III-II
桃花源 (2): Political Reading
3. The contrast between
signs of “the Chinese”
and the “Taiwanese”:
上海
the Young
雲之凡
the wife, the nurse,
the woman
attached to her
love at 南陽街.
 No way out?
How about these
two women?
References

蔡宜真. 《賴聲川劇場集體即興創作的來源
與實踐》國立成功大學/中國文學系/88/碩
士/88NCKU0045015

鴻鴻,月惠(民81), 《我暗戀的桃花
源》 。 遠流出版事業公司﹐1992。
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